BJP ruled Assam is planning to enact a cow protection law, that has raised concerns in neighbouring Meghalaya, which has a largely beef-consuming population.
In May, Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi addressing the Assam Assembly announced the introduction of the legislation in the assembly session which is due this month. The proposed law also envisages a complete ban on the transportation of cattle from other parts of the country.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma after taking charge has already instructed police to take strong action against cattle smuggling.
Assam is the only route of transporting cattle and almost all goods from the rest of the country to the northeast. Though the legislation is yet to be enacted in the assembly, the Assam government has stopped the entry of cattle into the state.
Meghalaya’s Khasi Jaintia Butchers Association general Secretary Generous Warlarpih expressed his concern on the issue.
He said their friends, who sell beef in Guwahati and Shillong, are complaining about the shortage of meat.
Warlarpih said Meghalaya, a Christian-dominated state, imports 90% of meat from other states via Assam.
He added the proposed legislation there will affect both supplies and lead to a steep rise in the price of beef.
“We are already facing so many problems in bringing cattle to the state and cattle smuggling is also a major hurdle. If this law is enacted it will further add to the burden, then it will be the people who will suffer,” he added.